Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show Guide

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Shady Brook Farm has hosted its famous holiday light show for decades and always has something fun and interesting that prompts so many visitors to make it an annual Christmas tradition. From the moment the structures begin to go up around the property, the anticipation builds until the millions of lights turn on shortly before Thanksgiving. This 100-year-old farm in Yardley welcomes thousands of guests to enjoy seasonal activities and make their way through its massive drive thru display.

We’ve been through Shady Brook Farm holiday light show three times over the years and always enjoy coming back. Here’s a look at what makes a visit here a highlight of the season.

Blue and red holiday lights spelling out "Believe."
One of the colorful light sculptures

Drive thru light show

The light show at Shady Book Farm is not only one of the top light displays near Philadelphia, but it’s one of the best in all of Pennsylvania. With over 3 million lights and dozens of elaborate structures, it regularly grows and changes, so there’s always something new for guests to see.

Arriving at the light show, visitors are funneled through the gates into two lanes, which is necessary to accommodate everyone who makes the trip to see the Christmas lights. If you tune your car radio to 90.7 FM, you’ll find plenty of commercial-free holiday tunes to accompany you on your drive. (Note that the lights aren’t synced to the music, so you can also listen to your favorite Christmas music for the same effect, if you’d prefer).

Illuminated sign for "12 Days of Christmas" in front of a light display.
“The 12 Days of Christmas” is a massive display

The range of lights along the 1.25-mile drive is incredible.

All the characters from the “12 Days of Christmas” get their own time to shine with the dancers, drummers, and leaping lords acting out their parts in animation. Santa’s workshop and lots of reindeer aren’t far behind. You’ll see the elves hard at work making toys in an elaborate assembly line in preparation for Christmas Eve.

There are also lots of familiar Christmas characters like The Grinch and Frosty the Snowman represented in bright lights with unexpected additions like dragons and dinosaurs. If you’ve ever wondered how reindeer learn to fly, the Shady Brook light show will answer that question, too, with the “reindeer flying school” lights.  

Christmas light display in the shape of a house with a sign for "Santa's Workshop."
Santa’s workshop is a hub of activity

Many of the displays are unrelated to the holidays, showing everything from Egypt’s Great Sphinx and the Eiffel Tower to nursery rhymes and sports. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Depending on the amount of traffic during your visit, the route is likely to take about 30-45 minutes, which is plenty of time to take in all the unique creatures and stories along the way.

Santa surfing a wave in Christmas lights.
Surfing Santa

More activities

Visiting Shady Brook Farm feels like a Christmas festival. In addition to the lights, there are also lots of other activities to enjoy at Santa’s Village.

Visitors can pick out a Christmas tree or shop for holiday decorations. There are opportunities to get your photo taken with Santa and to visit the free walk-through Christmas lights, Candy Cane Lane. Plus, you’ll find a playground and barnyard animals. On certain nights, you’ll find lots of snack options in huts outside, including pretzels, piping hot kettle corn, and much more.

Inside the farmer’s market, there is a huge selection of specialty products and prepared food items. If you’re looking for a treat that’s easy to walk around with, don’t miss the apple cider donuts.

Outdoor firepit
A fire pit perfect for making s’mores

Outside, you can reserve a private campfire to make s’mores or just crowd around to enjoy some hot chocolate and the ambiance of the fire.

Visiting information

The light show opens November 18, 2023, and runs Sunday through Thursday from 5PM – 10PM. On Friday and Saturday, the lights stay on until 11. Tickets for a car or minivan are $40 in advance or $50 at the gate, so it’s best to buy online and reserve a timed slot ahead of time. If you’d rather join the group wagon rides through the light trail, tickets are available for $15-20, depending on the night you go and whether you reserve in advance.

Drive thru tunnel of white lights with a "Peace on Earth" sign at the end.
Everyone loves a light tunnel

As a visitor and as someone who used to work across the street, I can say unequivocally that the Shady Brook Farm light show is very popular. If you book on a weekend in December, pack your patience and be ready for a bit of traffic and a great time. For less of a wait, plan for a weeknight early in the season (or even after Christmas). Once inside, consider driving through the display with only your parking lights on to improve viewing for yourself and everyone else.

For options like photos with Santa and the fire pits, reservations are required, and there are additional fees. Consult the website for more specifics.

There many Christmas lights in Bucks County worth seeing, so check out some of the other light shows to make your outing even more festive.

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